• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

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Full Professor

Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - National Research Council
Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin
Sapienza University of Rome - General Physiology Building - basement - P.le A.Moro 5, 00185 Rome

Irene Bozzoni

Curriculum Vitae 



1979: Specialization in General Pathology (70/70).

1975:  MS Degree with honours in Biology, University of Rome (110/110 cum aude)


Current Positions

Since 1994:        Full Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Rome.

Since 2018:         Senior Researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT).


Academic career and research experience

2002:                     Visiting Professor at the University of Brandeis, Boston (USA)

1994:                     Full Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Rome  

1993:                    Visiting Professor at the University of Boulder, Colorado (USA)

1986-1994:         Associate Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Rome

1986:                    Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Health of Bethesda (USA)

1980-1986:         Staff scientist at the Center for Nucleic Acid Research, CNR, Rome, Italy

1985:                    Visiting Scientist at the University of Zurich (CH)

1978-1980:          Research fellow at the Centro Acidi Nucleici of C.N.R., Rome

1979:                    EMBO fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg (D)

1977-78:             Post-doctoral fellow - Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Zurich (CH)


Academic assignments


2016-2018:          Director of the School for Advanced Studies of Sapienza, University of Rome

2007- 2018:       Director of the Master Degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Sapienza University

1994-2016:          Director of the PhD Program in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Sapienza University

2011-2016:          Deputy Director of the School of Advanced Studies of Sapienza

2013-2016:         Member of the PhD Committee of Sapienza University

2011-2014:          President of the Evaluation Committee of the Faculty of Sciences, Sapienza University

2009-2012:          Member of the Committee for the Innovation of Research and Technology, Sapienza University

2005-2016:          Rappresentative of Sapienza University at the “Consorzio Interuniversitario per le Biotecnologie”.

2007- 2015:        Member of the Technical and Scientific Committee of the Consorzio Sapienza Innovazione of the University La   Sapienza and of the Italian Federation for Life Sciences.


Non academic engagements


2018-present:   Member of the “Management Committee” of the Human Technopole.

2018-present:   Member of the Advisory Committee dell'Armenise-Harvard Foundation.

2017-present:   Member of the Board of the “Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia, Leonardo da Vinci",


2015- present:  Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the “Enciclopedia Treccani”.

2012-2018:          Review panel member of the Rita Levi-Montalcini “Program on Young Researchers” of the Ministry of Research and University (MIUR).

2016-2018:          Member of the National Committee for abilitation of Full and Associate Professors in Molecular Biology

2016:                     ERC - Review panel member for ERC, LS3 Consolidator Grants (CoG)

2011-2014:          Member of the Review panel member of the membership committee of EMBO

2010-2013:          Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the “Committee of Experts for the Research Policy” (CEPR), consultant of the of the Italian Ministry of University and Research

2009-2012:          Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Pezcoller Foundation

2005-2008:          Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Armenise-Harvard Foundation

2000-2003:          Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the “Fondazione Chiara D'Onofrio”

Evaluator for: EU, ESF, AERES, Welcome Trust, EMBO, HFSP, Armenise-Harvard Foundation, AFM and several international scientific institutions.


Memberships, honors and awards

- In 2013 was awarded of an ERC-Advanced Grant

- In 2010 was awarded the "Sapienza Ricerca Award".

- In 2008 was invited to give the “Lectio magistralis” for the inauguration of the academic year at Sapienza, University of Rome

- In 2003 and 2006 was awarded two Prizes by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

- Member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and of the "Academia Europaea"

- Member of Italian Society for Biophysics and Molecular Biology

- Member of the “Accademia Medica” of Rome


Research projects coordinated:

- European Union – Horizon 2020:

2016 -Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions -ITN, “circRTrain

- European Union - VII Research Framework:

i) ERC-Advanced Grant - Muncodd

ii) People-MSCA- ITN, RNATRAIN Project

iii) RIGHT, Integrated Project

iv) SIROCCO, Integrated Project

- European Science Foundation (ESF)

- Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)

- French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM-Téléthon) 


- Fondazione Telethon


- Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca Sul Cancro (AIRC)

- Istituto Pasteur, Fondazione Cenci-Bolognetti

- Parent Project ONLUS

- Istituto Italiano di Tecnologie (IIT) –SEED projects


Principal fields of interest


Molecular biology of RNA:  Discovery of several new classes of non coding RNAs with important functions in cell differentiation and in disease and definition of their mechanism of actions. Among them the identification of circular RNAs with a significant role in muscle homeostasis. 


Fazi F., Rosa A., Fatica A., De Marchis M. L., Gelmetti V., Nervi C. and Bozzoni I. (2005) A mini-circuitry comprising microRNA-223 and transcription factors NFI-A and C/EBP regulates human granulopoiesis. Cell, 123: 819-831.

Cesana M., Cacchiarelli D.Legnini I., Santini T., Sthandier O., Chinappi M., Tramontano A. and Bozzoni I. (2011) Key ceRNA role for the long non-codingRNA linc-MD1 in the control of muscle differentiation. Cell, 147: 358-369

Fatica A. and Bozzoni I. (2014) Long non-coding RNAs: new players in cell differentiation and development. Nature Review Genetics, 15:7-21

Legnini I., Morlando M., Mangiavacchi A., Fatica A.  and Bozzoni. I.. (2014) A feed forward regulatory loop between the HuR protein and the long non coding RNA linc-MD1 controls early phases of muscle differentiation. Mol. Cell, 53:1–9.

Ballarino M., Morlando M., Fatica A. and Bozzoni I. (2016) Non-coding RNAs in muscle differentiation and musculoskeletal disease. J. Clin Invest, 126: 2021-2030.

Legnini I., Di Timoteo G, Rossi F, Briganti F, Sthandier O, Morlando M, Fatica A, Andronache A, Wade M, Rajewsky N Bozzoni I (2017) – circ-ZNF609 is a circular RNA that can be translated and functions in myogenesis,  Mol Cell, 66:22-37.

Dimartino D., Colantoni A., Ballarino M., Martone J., Danner J., Mariani D., Bruckmann A., Meister G., Morlando M. and Bozzoni I. (2018). The long non coding RNA lnc-31 interacts with Rock1 mRNA and mediates its YB-1-dependent translation. Cell Reports, 23:733-740.

Ballarino M, Cipriano A, Tita R, Santini T, Desideri F, Morlando M, Colantoni A, Carrieri C, Nicoletti C, Musarò A, Carroll DO, Bozzoni I. (2018) Deficiency in the nuclear long noncoding RNA Charme causes myogenic defects and heart remodeling in mice. EMBO J., 37. pii: e99697

Rossi F., Legnini I., Megiorni F., Colantoni A., Santini T., Morlando M., Di Timoteo G., Dattilo D., Dominici C. and Bozzoni I. (2019). Circ-ZNF609 regulates G1-S progression in rhabdomyosarcoma. Oncogene, in press.



Neuromuscular diseases: Set up a novel strategy for the gene therapy of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy based on the exon skipping methodology. Identification of new serum biomarkers for the study of the progression of the disease and for testing the outcome of therapeutic treatments.


Denti M.A., Rosa A., D’Antona G., Sthandier O., De Angelis F.G., Nicoletti C., Allocca M., Pansarasa O., Parente V., Musarò A., Auricchio A., Bottinelli R. and Bozzoni I. (2006) Body-wide gene therapy of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the mdx mouse model. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103: 3758-3763.

Cacchiarelli D.,  Martone J., Girardi E., Cesana M., Incitti T.,  Nicoletti C., Santini T., Sthandier O., Auricchio A., Musarò A. & Bozzoni I. (2010). microRNAs Involved in Molecular Circuitries Relevant for the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Pathogenesis Are Controlled by the Dystrophin/nNOS Pathway. Cell Metabolism, 12:341-51

Cacchiarelli D., Legnini I. Martone J., D’Amico A., Bertini E. and Bozzoni I. (2011) miRNAs as serum biomarkers for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. EMBO Mol Med., 5:258-265.

Martone J., Briganti F., Legnini I., Morlando M., Picillo E., Sthandier O., Politano L. and Bozzoni I. (2016) The lack of the Celf2a splicing factor converts a Duchenne genotype into a Becker phenotype. Nat Commun. 7:10488.



Neurodegenerative diseases: Production of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells derived from ALS patients as well as from murine models and reconstitution of  in vitro motoneuron differentiation. Identification of several molecular pathways altered in specific ALS mutations.


Dini Modigliani S, Morlando M, Errichelli L, Sabatelli M, Bozzoni I. (2014). An ALS-associated mutation in the FUS 3'-UTR disrupts a microRNA-FUS regulatory circuitry. Nat Commun. 5:4335-41. 

Lenzi J., De Santis R., de Turris V., Morlando M., Calvo A., Caliendo V., Chiò A., Rosa A. and Bozzoni I. (2015)  ALS mutant FUS protein is recruited into stress granules in induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) derived neurons. Dis. Models and Mech., 8:755-66.